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Given the sheer number of energy retailers on the market in South Australia, there's an excellent chance you'll be able to lower the cost on your power bill. Use our tools to:
- Compare a range of providers
- Save hundreds by switching over from an old plan*
- Compare features such as customer complaints
As a South Australian resident, you have the power to pick whatever energy plan and provider you want. Research shows that you could cut your yearly energy bill by up to $243 with a switch from an old plan to a new one
Keen to start saving? Let's get you started:
- Cheap electricity plans in SA
- The "best" providers in SA
- List of providers and their main plans in SA
- Get a quote
By switching from a standing offer to a market offer according to the AER annual retail markets report 2019-20. (You may be put on a standing offer when your original plan's benefit period expires or when you move house).
Apply for an energy plan from Australia's most popular brands
How we determined popular brands
The most popular brands were based on market share using figures from the Australian Energy Regulator's annual retail markets report 2019-20 (Table 2.1). Keep in mind that the most popular brand may not always be the best for you, and you're encouraged to compare for yourself to find one that works for you.
Compare energy retailers in SA
Best electricity and gas retailers that are available in South Australia
Although there is no "best" retailer, to give you a general guide, we looked at the 10 largest electricity retailers that are available in South Australia (by customers) and ranked them by the smallest proportion of complaints to a retailer's total customers in Australia.
|Retailer||Number of customers||Number of complaints||Complaints as a proportion of customers|
Electricity and gas providers in SA
South Australia residents can choose from the following energy retailers:
|Provider||⚡ Electricity||♨️ Gas||☀️ Solar|
|Future X Power||✅||❌||✅|
|Locality Planning Energy||✅||❌||✅|
|Provider||⚡ Electricity customers in Australia||♨️ Gas customers in Australia||Average call wait time||% of complaints|
|Alinta Energy||352,679||55,086||37 sec||3.4%|
|amaysim Energy||95,212||23,996||32 sec||1.0%|
|Future X Power||277||N/A||N/A||18.1%|
|Locality Planning Energy||26,253||N/A||N/A||0.4%|
|Origin Energy||1,831,948||602,748||145 sec||1.1%|
|Red Energy||306,228||73,064||123 sec||4.1%|
|Simply Energy||133,318||55,677||35 sec||5.1%|
What's in this guide?
- Apply for an energy plan from Australia's most popular brands
- Compare energy retailers in SA
- Best electricity and gas retailers that are available in South Australia
- Electricity and gas providers in SA
- Is electricity expensive in SA?
- Is gas expensive in SA?
- Is price everything?
- Key terms to help you compare electricity plans in SA
- What are the 20 cheapest electricity plans in SA?
- Main energy plans in SA
- What type of energy discounts do providers in SA offer?
- How to get cheaper energy
- How much is the energy rebate in SA?
- When are off-peak and on-peak periods in SA?
- How does the SA energy market work?
- How to read a meter in SA
- How often will you get your bill?
- How do you connect electricity in SA?
- Compare electricity retailers and prices in South Australia June 2021
Is electricity expensive in SA?
Our research found that the average quarterly electricity bill in Australia is around $347. Among the four states, SA has the most expensive rate at $414 per quarter.
|State||Average quarterly billⓘ||Annual bill|
|New South Wales||$362||$1,448|
Is gas expensive in SA?
Our research found that the average quarterly gas bill in Australia is around $207. SA came in at a slightly more expensive $211 per quarter.
|State||Average quarterly billⓘ||Annual bill|
|New South Wales||$194||$776|
Is price everything?
A low advertised price is an important consideration, but it isn't everything. Other things to think about with energy plans include the following:
- Advertised prices change. Usage rates can increase, hefty discounts eventually expire and you could be moved onto an inferior standing offer if your plan runs out or you move home. Low prices now don't mean low prices forever.
- Green rating. Worried about the environment? Certain providers give you the option of carbon offsets for electricity, GreenPower minimum renewables or even entirely renewable energy by default (Powershop, for example).
- Reputation/complaints. Use Finder's customer service rating (in our plan table) or the number of complaints for a retailer from the AER's 2019-2020 report to determine how good an experience a provider offers.
- Energy tracking tools. While smart meters let you measure your consumption, some providers have apps or additional tools to make it easier.
Example: Advertised prices can rise sharplySay you bought the cheapest energy plan on the market a year ago and the plan looked like this:
- Usage rate: 30c/kWh
- Supply charge: 100c/kWh
- Discount: 10% guaranteed for 12 months.
Over the first year, you used around 4,000kWh of energy (standard consumption for a South Australian household) and paid the following:
[$1,200 (usage) + $365 (supply)] x 90% (guaranteed discount) = $1,408.50
But the next year, your energy company raised your usage rates to 31c/kWh and the discount expired. Now, for the same usage, you would pay the following:
$1,240 (usage) + $365 (supply) = $1,605
That's an increase of nearly $200 over the original advertised price, without changing plans.
Key terms to help you compare electricity plans in SA
Energy providers tend to use a bunch of jargon when selling power plans. Here are the most important terms to know for effective retailer/plan comparison:
This is a reduction on part or all of your bill. Discounts are mostly temporary and expire after a period of time known as the benefit period.
This is how much of the energy market a retailer has. A retailer with 10% energy share would have 10% of all energy plans in a state or across Australia.
This is a standard value set by the government that all other energy plans are compared to. Plans are always some percentage higher or lower than the reference price, which can help you determine what's a good deal or not.
GreenPower allows you to ensure that some percentage of your power is from renewable sources. For example, GreenPower 50% would mean that half your energy is from renewables.
A distributor is in charge of building, maintaining and upgrading the physical energy network that carries our power. They don't sell energy plans.
A rebate is a certain amount of your energy bill that the government or a retailer will refund, either as an incentive or welfare/concession benefit.
Main energy plans in SA
Here are some of the main electricity plans in South Australia:
AGL - Essentials
Get fixed rate power, with rates no longer fixed after 12 months. There are no exit fees, and you get the choice between 10% and 100% GreenPower.
Energy Australia - Total Plan Home
The Total Plan will give you a guaranteed whole bill discount for the first 12 months you're connected. If you opt in, your plan will switch to carbon neutral after 6 months, and you can choose anywhere from 10% to 100% GreenPower.
Origin - Go
Get fixed rate power and flexible billing options, with rates turning variable after 12 months. If you're after GreenPower, you can choose between 25% and 100%. Linking your Everyday Rewards account will net you 25% GreenPower for free and additional points when paying your bill.
Powershop - Shopper Market Offer
Receive variable rate electricity without any connection fee for moving plus monthly billing and flexible payments. If you pre-purchase power via "Powerpacks" in the Powershop store, you can get a discount on energy. 100% GreenPower is available.
Lumo Energy - Lumo Plus
Get variable rate power with quarterly billing and e-communications. There's no lock-in contract, and you can pick up 10% GreenPower if desired.
Note: Plan information last checked on June 2021.
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What type of energy discounts do providers in SA offer?
To help you find out what energy discounts are available to you, we searched through all the energy plans available to South Australians. These are the major discount types on offer:
- Bill credits. Get a certain amount of money deducted from your energy bills. This is usually a sign-up offer.
- Guaranteed discount. This is a very reliable type of discount that doesn't require any special conditions and always applies.
- Direct debit discounts. Paying automatically by direct debit will save you a certain percentage off your energy bill.
- Pay on time discounts. If you pay every bill on time, you'll get an ongoing discount. Missing a bill or paying late removes this.
The most common type of discount in South Australia is a guaranteed discount. Discounts usually only apply for a set period of time, known as the benefit period, and then expire.
How to get cheaper energy
- Compare base rates. The actual amount you pay per unit of energy is the most important part of an energy plan. After all other discounts and features have been accounted for, lower base usage rates generally mean cheaper electricity.
- Examine discounts. Discounts are offered as conditional, where you have to meet certain conditions for them to apply, and guaranteed, which apply no matter what. Both only apply for the benefit period listed on your contract, though guaranteed discounts are usually better.
- Tariff alternatives. Rather than sticking to a default single rate, you might consider a time-of-use tariff depending on when you use your energy. If most of your energy use is in the morning and early afternoon, a time-of-use tariff can help you save by splitting the day into more expensive peak times and cheaper off-peak periods. Primarily off-peak power usage may translate to a smaller bill.
- Review plans regularly. Staying on a plan for a long time doesn't usually bring any advantages since variable rates can change and benefit periods expire after a year or two. Shopping around for a new energy plan every year or so can help you secure a better deal on your energy.
How much is the energy rebate in SA?
A rebate or concession is an amount of money refunded on your energy bill. To get a rebate, you'll usually need to meet a certain condition, such as being a concession cardholder.
Your rebate will either be a flat dollar amount or a percentage of your bill. To see what South Australia has available, check out our guide to energy rebates and concessions under the South Australian section.
When are off-peak and on-peak periods in SA?
Like many states, South Australia splits power use into two periods: peak and off-peak. Unlike other states, though, very few retailers offer time-of-use tariffs that actually differentiate pricing between these periods and will usually only sell them to businesses. Here's how they're defined for the plans that do:
- Peak. 7am - 9pm on weekdays.
- Off-peak. All other times (9pm - 7am weekdays, all weekend).
How does the SA energy market work?
The SA energy market works through energy retailers purchasing electricity and gas from energy distributors, and then selling that on to customers through energy plans. In South Australia, there is only one electricity distributor and one gas distributor for the entire state.
|SA Power Networks||All of South Australia|
|Australian Gas Networks||All of South Australia|
How to read a meter in SA
A meter reading can be carried out either by you or a qualified technician. The technician route is simple, only requiring you to make sure the technician can access your meter easily alone. A smart meter cannot be manually read.
Before reading your own meter, do a quick safety check. Inspect the meter and its housing for any signs of damage from water, animals, or melted and burned pieces. How you read your meter will depend on what kind you have. This is explained in our meter reading guide in more detail.
- Smart meter. These take usage readings about every 30 minutes. You can't read them manually, and you must log into your retailer's page and request a usage chart.
- Clock face meter. Write down the number on each clock face from left to right. When dials are between two numbers, take the lower. Don't read the dial labelled 1/10. Your usage will be your meter reading minus the reading from your previous bill.
- Electronic meter. Pressing the "display" button should show your usage, potentially cycling through several different readings. Note them all down.
How often will you get your bill?
Electricity bills in South Australia are required to be delivered every three months at least, but retailers may decide to deliver them monthly instead. Here's how three big energy providers handle billing in the state:
- Origin. Bills come monthly on the Origin Max Saver plan. Bills will not be mailed in paper form as part of this plan, only sent via email.
- Energy Australia. The No Frills plan only offers quarterly billing, not monthly. Getting a paper bill delivered will attract an extra cost over having it emailed.
- AGL. With AGL's Residential Essential Savers Plan, you'll get a bill quarterly by default but can choose to go monthly instead. Bills are sent regularly by email or mailed out for an additional charge.
How do you connect electricity in SA?
Moving house requires you to cut off power at the old address and switch on the lights at the new one. Failing to update your energy accounts may result in you paying for other people's usage. Here's how you can handle it:
- Use the previous provider. If you're a fan of your current energy plan, just contact your retailer and let them figure out the move for you. Just remember that you might not be able to access your old plan at a different property.
- Get your agent or landlord to do it. Renters will sometimes have their energy account be the responsibility of their landlord. That means you can talk the details through with them and let them handle the business of switching, including any applicable fees.
- Compare online. Moving house is an excellent time to review your power plan and maybe switch to something better. You may be able to get a better deal than what you have now by comparing online, allowing you to save money on future bills.
South Australians who don't sort out their energy account when moving in may receive "dear customer/occupier" letters from the current supplier of power to the property. Ignoring these letters can result in your utilities being cut off, so make sure you sort your energy arrangements as soon as possible.
In South Australia, there is only a single electricity distributor, SA Power Networks. It will charge you a fee for connecting and disconnecting your properties as shown in this table.
|SA Power Networks||$50.25|
Your choice of energy retailer has a big effect on your bill. Once you've compared plans and chosen one, all you need to do to switch is apply with your new provider and cancel your existing plan.
South Australians have the second-highest energy bills in the country, which means comparing has a good chance of saving you a decent amount per year - up to $243, based on data from the AER.
Compare electricity retailers and prices in South Australia June 2021
Based on the AER annual model usage in the SA Power Networks network, the AER reference price is $1,832 / year.
Energy prices change regularly in VIC, NSW, QLD, SA, ACT and TAS. Our pricing and estimates below may not always take these possible changes into account, so please confirm plan details and pricing with the provider before making a decision.
Important notes: The estimated price we show by default is based on a single rate tariff. On your bill, this might be known as a "peak tariff", "peak only" or an "anytime tariff". There are other tariff types available to customers and you may need to contact your provider if you are on these tariffs:
- Single rate with a controlled load
- Time of use
- Time of use with a controlled load
The price estimate should not be used as an official quote, but an indication of what your costs may be on the plan. It varies based on whether you provide us with your bill details. You can learn more here.
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